Yokki and the Parno Gry – by Richard O’Neill and Katharine Quarmby and illustrated by Marieke Nelissen

 91z91ynfvlYokki and the Parno Gry – by Richard O’Neill and Katharine Quarmby and illustrated by Marieke Nelissen, Child’s Play Publishers, 9781846439278, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: (1-5 5 is a starred review) 4

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? This is a Romani tale told by a Romani storyteller. It’s an authentic tale offering an insight into the Romani lifestyle and culture. In this book we learn about the everyday life of Traveling people who move from place to place, carving and selling wooden spoons and beautiful paper flowers. It tells of how some Traveling people mend pots and pans and sharpen tools and knives. And it tells of how they love to sit and tell stories by the fire every night. Yokki was a Travelor  boy who had a wonderful imagination. This imagination saved the day when the Travelors came upon hard times and they counted on Yokki’s imagination to help them through. His story about Parno Gry, a flying horse, gave them hope. This is a book that celebrates the culture of the Romani people and also celebrates the importance of story telling and imagination. The beginning pages of the book talk to parents about the Romani and Traveling people throughout the world, partly in order to dispel stereotypes.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Because it is about a culture foreign to many children in America, it has many names that are difficult to pronounce. Parents might initially pass by it in a bookstore.

To Whom Would You Recommend this book? This is a wonderful book to add to a multi-cultural collection in a school or public library. It is recommended for children ages 4-9.

Who should buy this book? all libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Children’s Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Sandra Pacheco, ESL teacher, Washington, D.C.

Date of review: Nov. 17, 2016

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